Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Epic Trip

We've been busy around here.  Tomorrow morning, we leave our home in India for five months of first-world heaven, home time.  Rest. Relaxation. Family. Friends. Food.

It takes a lot of time, work, and mental gymnastics to pack up six people and leave your home for five months.  In the states, it would be as simple as making sure everything is somewhat clean and locking the door.  But here, it's a little bit more.  Tomorrow morning, we have to turn off the water in every bathroom and the kitchen.  We will close the toilets and put something heavy on them so no rats can climb up in to the house.  We will store our candles in such a way that they won't melt while we're gone.  We're taping the doors shut from the inside to prevent as much dust from coming in as possible.  Covering important furniture with cloths to keep dust off.  Deep floor cleaning will be done, and the last few weeks I've done lots of sorting, throwing away, re-evaluating, do we really need this? Because I know in five months, I'm coming home with like 10-12 bags full of goodies from the US and will need a spot to put it all. : )

This going home thing always unearths some lapses in our parenting that we only realize when we're about to meet with our home culture.  Yesterday, I realized we'll be in London on Thursday, and the forecast for London is overcast and a high of 66.  What?!?  So I decided we needed to pack actual shoes, not just sandals.  Uh... where are the kids real shoes? Oh, wait... they don't have any.  So off to the store we went to day to buy them some real shoes.  Luke found some addidas tennis on sale that he just had to have.  This was all fine and dandy until we got home and realized our serious oversight. Luke is in second grade, and is nearly 7 years old.  And he doesn't know how to tie a pair of tennis shoes.  He doesn't even know the technique to get them on.  (Loosen the ties, pull up the shoe's tongue, etc.). Because for his whole life, he's worn sandals that slide on and off easily so when we visit people's homes or shops, he can leave his shoes at the door.  So now we're in the middle of teaching him to tie his shoes.  Aye-yi-yi....

Trying to pack "lightly" for six people is always tough!  We have managed to take back the bare essentials: clothes, shoes, school books, gifts, and a few items of baby gear, including a car seat, and collapsible eating chair, and a baby carrier.  (Not even a stroller!) And that's it.  And that's 8 giant bags!  As I'm packing, I'm looking at the kids clothes, pulling out their cutest, best things, and wondering, if in five months, I will consider these things to be outdated rags not worthy of being brought back...

We have an epic trip looming....  we leave our home tomorrow morning at 11.  We hopefully will arrive in the capital city around dinner time and share a meal with friends before heading to the airport.  We depart Delhi at 2:30 a.m. after a round of Benadryl for all the kids.  We arrive in London at 6:45 a.m. London time (11:30 a.m. India time).  Then, we have a whirlwind tour of the Tower of London planned! I'm so excited about this! I know, I know, we'll be sooo tired, and everyone will be cranky.  But how can we pass it up?  We can take the tube straight from Heathrow to Tower Hill. I found some fun Explorer Kits online from Guy Fox and printed them out.  Great activity pages on what we'll see at the Tower, and at Tower Bridge.  Things to look for, facts to find, stamps to get.  We'll have lunch at the Tower restaurant, proper British food... then head back to the airport around 2:30 to catch our 5:15 flight.  After everyone has been loaded up with Coke and other caffeine filled things, we will fly 8 hours to Chicago, landing at 8 p.m. Chicago time (8 a.m. India time Friday).  Yes, it's still Thursday at that point.  The longest day ever.  Even though I'm hoping the caffeine will keep them awake for most of that London-Chicago flight, we'll spend a (probably sleepless) night at an airport hotel and head to Wichita the next morning by 1:00 p.m.

As we said when we came to India the first time, five and a half years ago, with two small babies: if we can survive this trip, we can do anything. : )

See you on the other side!


  1. Yah! Can't wait to see you.... But I did get a little exhausted just reading that! Praying for you! - jasmine

  2. Lifting you guys up Megan! mica

  3. Praying for you guys to have a great trip! I forget your exact itinerary once you're here, but if you come through the Philly area and need to make a pit stop, give us a ring! Good luck!

  4. Have a great trip! Travel days are like game days. Coffee is the Gatorade. Bathrooms are the time-outs. Go!

  5. WOW!! I'm praying for you!! WE just took our family of 6 to Korea..it was an epic trip..nothing compared to yours! You'll be in my prayer.